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Don Griffith was an American former art director and layout artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios for almost fifty years and also served as the head of the Layout Department at the studio for many years and the de facto Art Director from from the mid-1960s through the 1970s.

Griffith was born in Butte, Montana and moved with his mother and brother and sisters to Hollywood when he was a young boy after his father died. His mother ran a boarding house in Hollywood. He started working at Disney in 1937 at age 19 when the Studio was still on Hyperion. He started out as an inker and worked his way into doing background and layout work. He didn't have any training as an artist before he started working. It was also there that he his wife Katherine Lane, a secretary. One of his first assignments was being Ken Anderson's assistant during the production of ''Pinocchio. After the outbreak of WWII, Griffith join the Merchant Marines.

He returned to the studio where he worked as a layout artist in films like Melody Time, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Lady and the Tramp, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Rescuers, and The Fox and the Hound.

Griffith and the other Disney animators lived by the adage, "He who dies with the most toys wins!" Each animator's office was usually littered with multiple toys which were played with often during the day. When Walt Disney opened Cal Arts Don taught drawing classes there in the school's first few years. He retired from the company in 1984 while working on the Disney Afternoon shows The Wuzzles and Adventures of the Gummi Bears.

He died on February 9, 1987 from kidney failure, six day after his 69th birthday.

Disney Filmography

Year Film Position
1940 Pinocchio assistant
1940 Bone Trouble layout artist
1943 Victory Through Air Power art direction: animation
1944 Donald Duck and the Gorilla layout artist - uncredited
1945 Tuberculosis layout artist
additional story - uncredited
1947 Donald's Dilemma layout artist
1947 Wide Open Spaces layout artist
1948 Drip Dippy Donald layout artist
1948 Donald's Dream Voice layout artist
1948 Melody Time "Once Upon a Wintertime": layout artist
1948 The Trial of Donald Duck layout artist
1949 So Dear to My Heart layout artist
1949 The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad layout artist - uncredited
1950 Cinderella layout artist
1951 Alice in wonderland layout artist
1952 Susie the Little Blue Coupe layout artist
1953 Peter Pan layout artist
1955 Lady and the Tramp layout artist
1955-1964 The Magical World of Disney layout artist
1959 Sleeping Beauty layout artist
1961 One Hundred and One Dalmatians layout artist
1961 Donald and the Wheel layout artist
1963 The Sword in the Stone layout artist
1964 Mary Poppins background artist
1967 The Jungle Book layout artist
1970 The Aristocats layout artist
1971 Bedknobs and Broomsticks layout artist
1973 Robin Hood art director
1977 The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh layout artist:"Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree
"Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day"
"Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too"
1977 The Rescuers layout artist
art director
1983 The Fox and the Hound art director
1983 Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore layout artist - uncredited
1983 Mickey's Christmas Carol art director
story adaptation
1985 The Black Cauldron layout artist
art director - uncredited
1985 The Wuzzles layout artist - uncredited
1985-1987 Adventures of the Gummi Bears layout artist - uncredited


v - e - d
Walt Disney Animation Studios - Transparent Logo.png
1920’s—1970’s
Disney's Nine Old Men: Milt KahlFrank ThomasOllie JohnstonLes ClarkJohn LounsberyMarc DavisWard KimballEric LarsonWolfgang Reitherman

Animators: Bill TytlaArt BabbittLee BlairPreston BlairFred MooreShamus CulhaneCy YoungDon LuskNorman FergusonHal KingJack HannahDick KinneyHal AmbroKen O'BrienJudge WhitakerBill JusticeDon BluthGary GoldmanCharles A. NicholsBlaine GibsonJohn EwingWalt StanchfieldFred HellmichAmby PaliwodaWilfred JacksonXavier AtencioBen SharpsteenEarl HurdDale OliverEric CleworthDavid HandFred SpencerJulius SvendsenEd BenedictKenneth MuseRudolf Ising
Visual Development, Layout, Background Artists and Character Designers: Gustaf TenggrenMary BlairMarjorie RalstonLillian BoundsJoe GrantMel ShawClaude CoatsDon DaGradiJohn HenchEyvind EarleKen O'ConnorThor PutnamAlbert HurterJohn HubleyHerbert RymanDon GriffithBasil DavidovichJack BoydPeter EllenshawRuthie Tompson
Storyboard Artists and Writers: Bill PeetRalph WrightDick HuemerFloyd NormanYale GraceyTed SearsErdman PennerJoe RinaldiWinston HiblerOtto EnglanderWilliam CottrellBill BergAl BertinoT. HeeHomer BrightmanTed OsbourneLarry ClemmonsHarry Reeves
Directors: Clyde GeronimiHamilton LuskeJack KinneyTed BermanRichard RichNathan GrenoGeorge ScribnerRiley Thomson
Producers: Walt DisneyRon MillerKen AndersonDon DuckwallPerce Pearce

1980’s—Present
Renaissance Directors: Rob MinkoffRoger AllersGary TrousdaleKirk WiseChris SandersMark DindalJohn Musker

Story Trust Directors: Ron ClementsChris BuckByron HowardDon HallChris WilliamsRich MooreStephen J. Anderson
Producers: Peter Del VechoClark SpencerRoy ConliDorothy McKimDon Hahn
Chief Creative Officer: Jennifer Lee
Associated Figures: Bob IgerRoy Edward DisneyMichael EisnerJohn LasseterEd CatmullJeffrey KatzenbergBob Chapek
Signature Voice Actors: Jim CummingsAlan TudykKatie LowesJohn DiMaggioMaurice LaMarcheJodi BensonDavid Ogden StiersJesse CortiPaul BriggsRaymond S. PersiPhil JohnstonFrank WelkerBill FarmerBrian Cummings
Signature Musicians: Sherman Brothers Robert B. Sherman Richard Sherman Alan Menken Kristen Anderson-Lopez Robert LopezLin-Manuel MirandaHoward AshmanTim RicePhil CollinsGlenn SlaterStephen SchwartzMarc Shaiman
Supervising Animators: Glen KeaneAndreas DejaAlex KupershmidtEric GoldbergMark HennJohn PomeroyRandy HaycockDale BaerT. Daniel HofstedtTony BancroftTom BancroftTony FucileAnthony DeRosaRuss EdmondsMichael SurreyBruce W.SmithDuncan MarjoribanksRuben AquinoNik RanieriRon HusbandRick FarmiloeTom SitoTony AnselmoRandy Cartwright
Visual Development & Storyboard Artists: Dean DeBloisLisa KeeneClaire KeaneBrittney LeeJin KimShiyoon KimCory Loftis

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